Bloody long, and bloody fun: 'Crystal Lake Memories' documents the 'Friday the 13th' franchise in its gory entirety
"Recently, he appeared on the Tonight Show and he talked all about Friday the 13th," Farrands says. "So he's not ashamed of it, necessarily. But unfortunately, while we were conducting our interviews, we couldn't make it work with his schedule. But we tried, and they tried! I think people have this misunderstanding that some of these bigger stars are embarrassed by it, and that's just not true. I mean, Johnny Depp wasn't ashamed that he was in A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)."
Farrands' own résumé is filled with horror-related credits. Just a smattering: he wrote the screenplay for 1995's Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers; directed multiple History's Mysteries episodes on the Amityville phenomenon; and is developing a TV show set "in the universe of Jason Voorhees" called Crystal Lake Chronicles. His earlier Friday doc, His Name Was Jason, was a 90-minute work that "focused on Jason Voorhees as a pop-culture icon," he says.
For Crystal Lake Memories, "we wanted to sequentially chronicle the making of the entire series." It does make use of some Jason footage, particularly outtakes from interviews conducted for that film. But, "we did 60-some new interviews for this film that were not in Jason."
Fresh faces include Dana Kimmell, star of 1982's Friday the 13th Part III, and Jennifer Cooke, star of Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI. "[Cooke] has literally never spoken of her experience with the film other than, I think, one article back in 1986 when the film was made. It took a lot of convincing to get her to go on camera. But she was very nice and gave us a terrific, in-depth interview."
As you might suspect, the actors' recollections tend to revolve around their death scenes — achieved, in the pre-CG era, via the wizardry of artists like Savini, who made Friday's signature gore as outrageous as possible.
"The Friday the 13th violence was very in-your-face. The violence in Halloween (1978) was kind of subdued, and suggested, more like Psycho (1960). Friday the 13th took it to the next level. People walked out, like, 'How did they do that?' The audaciousness of what they pulled off, and the fact that the film was released by a major studio and put on 1,600 screens at the time — it just hadn't been done. So I think that's why Friday the 13th was kind of a watershed film."
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